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Chaucer in Context
Author: S. H. Rigby

ISBN: 9780719042362
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 17 December 1995
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.8 x 1.2
Everyone knows of the Canterbury Tales, acknowledged as one of the leading texts of the English Canon. Consensus about them ends there. Amongst the most written about works of English literature, they still defy categorisation. Was Chaucer a poet of profound religious piety or a sceptic who questioned all religious and moral certainties? Do his pilgrims reflect the actual society of his day, or were they a product of an already well-established literary tradition and convention? Was he a defender of women or a misogynist, who reproduced the antifeminism characteristic of his time? Did his writings present a challenge to the dominant social outlook of late Medieval England or reinforce the status quo? This stimulating new book surveys and assesses these competing critical approaches to Chaucer's work, emphasising the need to see Chaucer in historical context; the context of the social and political concerns of his own day. Writing as a historian, Rigby brings refreshing new insights to this contested old chestnut and Chaucer, and his Tales, are revealed to us as Chaucer's contemporaries would have seen them.

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